Digital Portfolio

In an effort to communicate ways in which technology can be integrated into the classroom and share what I’ve learned in my masters program at Johns Hopkins, I give you my Digital Portfolio 🙂 This portfolio address the ISTE Standards for Teachers.  The artifacts are evidence of how that standard was or can be met.  Hopefully it provides other educators with ideas for how they can meet these standards in their own classroom. By no means are these artifacts the ONLY way these standards can be met, but feel free to adapt and improve the ideas I’ve provided and make them your own!

Digital Portfolio

Curating Tools & Social Bookmarking: Focus on Diigo



Internet safety is a high priority and an area of concern for teachers and parents, however internet validity is just as important when students are perusing the internet. It is essential that students are able to determine the validity and credibility of specific websites. We want our students to be able to decipher whether a website is credible or not, however for younger students, this will be a process that will take time to master. Therefore, using Diigo to provide students with a list of websites will give them a wealth of credible information. I love the option to put your links into different categories. This would be ideal for differentiation, different subjects, and various projects.

Categorizing the information enables you to have tons of bookmarks, without it being overwhelming to sift through. Secondly, with the amount of information and resources available online, Diigo makes it very easy to share with others. Students would be able to access the websites from home and refer back to them when necessary. How will you be or could you be using this list of links. I will most likely be using Diigo to personally bookmark websites in addition to using it with my students. It will be perfect for when they go to the computer lab and are with the media specialist. I won’t need to send them with a list of links which they will need to spend time typing in, instead they have all of the websites at their fingertips via Diigo. Also, as a staff, it would be wonderful for teachers to share the websites where we are getting information and ideas. Consider the features of Diigo and how they support your audience.

I use pinterest often, however, many times the picture and caption look wonderful, but when you follow the link to the website, it isn’t what you thought. Also, Pinterest doesn’t benefit my students necessarily, I only use it personally

In an article written by Richardson, it stated “Google engineers estimated that the Web is growing by several billion individual Web pages per day.” This line really stood out to me because when asking students to research something on the internet, they have to sort through an enormous amount. Only a handful of the websites will be useful, credible, and appropriate to the task. As teachers we want to show our students how to make the most of technology and use it as a resource that enhances our learning. The internet’s purpose is to share information and “link” people and knowledge together, so encouraging our students to make their digital footprint and connect is extremely powerful!

Additionally, with the world constantly changing, it is really important that we evolve as well. Teaching cannot remain the same as the past when the world we live in is no longer the same. We need to keep up with the real world in order to prepare the students for it. Also, when reading about RSS feeds, it made it even more apparent that there is just so much information out there and not enough time to go through it all. With the use of the Diigo tool and with the ability to subscribe to information and then see it all in one place on an RSS feed, you are using technology in the most efficient and effective way. Teaching students HOW to use technology appropriately is almost as important as using technology

Totally Twitter

twitter 1twitter 2

Last year, at Hollywood Elementary School, I started my schools Twitter page (@Hollywood ES). ABC7 News Stormwatch team came in for an in-school “field trip” with my students to explain what a meteorologist does and how they do it. During their presentation, they live tweeted and shared photos and videos of the students. Parents were able to follow all the action on Twitter as well!

When looking at the ISTE Standards for my Johns Hopkins courses, I felt as though the Twitter page is a clear example of Standard 3.

 Standard 3: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning: Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

  1. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
  2. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation
  3. Communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats
  4. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

Have any of you started a Twitter page for your class as a way to share answers similar to TODAYSMEET? Or a way to curate current event information? Please share how you use Twitter in the classroom 🙂 




“Decide Now”decide now
Educational Cool Tool


Ensuring excellence and equity among students is a common concern for teachers across all grade levels. Equity refers to the principle of fairness; however, being fair is not always as easy as it sounds for educators. Equity sticks are commonly used to keep students engaged, ensure we are calling on each student rather than a selected few and making students responsible for their own learning. “Equity” takes away the judgment of the individual teacher when determining which student to call on in class. It allows for random selection. In today’s wonderful world of technology “cool tools,” popsicle sticks are a thing of the past. Decision-making on a larger scale can be accomplished with an app called “Decide Now.”
As you can see in the image to the right, I have used “Decide Now!” to input my entire class roster. One spin of the wheel and a student is randomly selected! “Decide Now” doesn’t just allow you to input the names of students in your class and make it easier to randomly select a student to answer in a fun and engaging way, but it can be used for reinforcement ideas, as a “prize wheel,” for classroom jobs, for trivia game topics, to choose partners, centers, the ideas are honestly endless! In an effort to be fair, “Decide Now” makes it easier than ever.
In essence, it is an extremely easy to use app based on a wheel of choices similar to “Wheel of Fortune”. You can input choices and name spinners along with picking color options. Using your document camera you can display the wheel on the board and excite the students as they anxiously wait to see the decision that is made. As a method for breaking up the monotony, this app offers a great way to break from the routine.

This program:
• Works on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
• Requires iOS 4.3
• Allows teachers to establish equity in their classrooms in an engaging way using an alternative method
• Provides customization of labels
• Attach to a projector with a VGA connector and create a whole class activity
• Adds chance and excitement to once tedious tasks

Image Citation:
Catforce Studio (2014) Decide Now (Version 1.6)
Retrieved from!/id383718755?mt=8

Educational Philosophy


In order for you to get a better idea of the type of teacher I am and my outlook on teaching, read my philosophy of education below 🙂

“Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I remember, involve me, and I learn.”

–Benjamin Franklin

As teachers we are in a unique position because we get to educate, inspire, motivate, and mold the future of our country.  Every child is capable of greatness, but understanding your students’ strengths, weaknesses, interests, fears, and background is essential.  My goal is to create lifelong learners with a passion for knowledge and a driving inner force that fuels their ambition to improve. Instilling this thirst and desire to know more is essential.  However, this cannot be accomplished without having a shared enthusiasm to learn.  An energetic, positive, dynamic teacher who genuinely loves teaching will spark curiosity and jumpstart motivation.  This enthusiasm will lead to a more engaged classroom with fewer discipline issues, and better results.  Ultimately, I want my students to love learning and continuously want to learn!

In order to establish a classroom of self-motivated students, my primary role in the classroom must be to coach and facilitate student learning.  To be college and career ready, collaboration, communication, and creativity are crucial. An influential researcher and theorist, Jean Piaget stated, “The principal goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”  Similarly, Jerome Bruner’s theoretical framework stressed that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based on their current or past knowledge.  Therefore, both Piaget and Bruner’s constructivist theories about discovery learning and the idea that children learn best through doing, and actively exploring, is one that continues to encourage my own teaching practices.  Furthermore, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that addresses inquiry-based learning, flexibility in the curriculum, individualized learning, discovery, and focuses on the process of learning versus the outcome or end product.  As an educator, I strive to ensure that my students are well-educated and prepared for the real world in the 21st century and these principles improve and optimize teaching and learning for all students!

I believe it is important as an educator to revolutionize the way we teach by embracing technology in a meaningful way.  Technology can stimulate and engage learners, resulting in increased confidence, productivity, creativity, and authentic knowledge gains. To make authentic connections with students, we must change our strategies to fit this new age of students. With the resources available today for use in the classroom, such as interactive software, digital imaging, audio and video creation tools, on-demand video libraries, computers and LCD projectors, and Web 2.0 tools, the hardest job may be choosing which tool to use and how to integrate it into the classroom. It is the greatest time in history to be in a classroom because learning technology is changing at an exponential rate, and our students can thrive with it.  It is a crucial time to being looking at what is truly driving change in the 21st century classroom: the students.  As a teacher I plan to not only learn from my students and the professionals around me, but keep up to date on new innovations and incorporate them in my classroom to improve my educational strategies.  Today’s generation is immersed in the rapidly changing world of technology so I must be too.  Although ambitious, I strive to do more than just make a difference and change the lives of my own students; I want to change the face of education!


Cool Tool in Education


“There’s an app for that.” Thanks to Apple, this phrase is a commonality today.  These powerful, handy, ultraportable personal-sized computers have rapidly found their way into nearly every facet of daily life.  Answers are literally at the tip of our fingertips in mere seconds and it appears that Vanilla Ice’s wise words of, “If you got a problem, yo I’ll solve it” has become a reality thanks to technology improving exponentially. In fact, the number of available apps is so extensive that you can find an app to help you with just about anything at all.  It seems as if everyone from your five-year-old cousin to your 90-year-old grandma has an iPhone and if you don’t have some sort of smartphone at all, then you’re completely out of the loop, off the grid, and so ancient you might as well go back to Bedrock.

More than 1.75 billion people in 2014 used a smartphone and that number is only on the rise.  If that many people, worldwide, are using smartphones, then why aren’t we teaching with smartphones and tablets in all classrooms? Many schools are, but my school is not.  How are we supposed to get our students “college and career ready” if we are not preparing them to use the tools they will use on a daily basis in college and in their career?  We’ve implemented the common core, with rigorous question sets, and are beginning to take the PARCC assessment, but my classroom of 30 low income students, still sit through class without iPads to learn on. Yes, I know, they are expensive, but they ARE what the students need in order to be ready for their future.   My students come from families that don’t have Internet access in their homes nor do they even have computers.  So when they go to take the PARCC test on the computer this year, they are at an extreme disadvantage.  They barely know how to type on the computer and even though they have been exposed to the computer in school, a few hours a week is not enough.

How many successful companies still manage payroll or keep paper files versus electronically?  Very few, if any.  Paper and pencil are still necessary, but they are not the epicenter of learning.  Teachers are being trained and educated on how to educate in the digital era, but we are not being provided with the platforms and tools needed to apply this knowledge!  It perplexes me.  Therefore, it is evident that each student in my class needs an iPad, laptop, Chromebook, or tablet to learn on everyday.  With these “cool tools” we will be able to access thousands of apps, many even for free.   Engaging the students will be a thing of the past.  Creating meaningful learning to help them become college and career ready won’t even be discussed.  Being able to use a computer or tablet effectively to create, share, explore, research, publish, and connect WILL give them the skills they need for the future as a 21st century learner!

Still not convinced that a full class set of tablets or laptops is what my class needs?  Then let’s talk resources.  According to Ben Johnson and his article, “Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much do you Rely on it?” we know some ballpark numbers, on average, for how much schools spend on paper.  “Let’s say that in a school of 100 teachers, each teacher gets a 50-ream allotment. Each ream holds 500 sheets, so per teacher, that would be 25,000 pieces of paper. In a class of 30 students that is 833 pieces of paper per student per year. This would mean at a school of 100 teachers, that school would use 250,000 piece of paper annually. With that, a school like this would spend approximately $7,500 per year on printing on this paper and paper itself costs $25,000, not to mention costs of copy toner and service agreements. So, I’m thinking that every school could use an extra $30,000 to $50,000.” (Johnson, B. (2011, February 23).  With the use of tablets in the classroom, books could be digital as well.  Not only would this save paper, but it would save space! Closets are filled with textbooks, shelves are stacked, and space is limited.

So what do you say? Let’s bring education to life!  Interactive technology makes learning more engaging and memorable.  Say goodbye to homework getting lost is a sea of papers and students missing assignments.  Let’s say hello to collaboration.  Hello to equal opportunities for all children, whether they have a computer at home or not.  Let’s get connected.  Let’s revolutionize the way we teach.  Embrace technology, educate for the future, think outside the box, innovate, investigate, and research; do it all on a laptop or tablet.

“The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017,”


Johnson, B. (2011, February 23). Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much Do You Rely on It? Retrieved February 11, 2015, from